At our evergreen tree farm, we experimented with different soil types and potting mixtures over 20 years ago. Leafgro, which is manufactured by the state of Maryland, proved to be an excellent addition to the planting medium. Made of leaves and grass clippings collected from the surrounding cities, it is professionally recycled into Leafgro at their enormous composting facility. Long rows of leaves are turned over every few weeks after temperatures are tested at the base of the organic compost rows. Temperatures too hot cause the leaves catch on fire, too cold promotes no weed burn out and less bacteria action to create the final product. Their product is consistent and has nitrogen and micro nutrients, as well as, a neutral ph in the 7 to 7.8 range. Perfect for our evergreen living fence production farm.
At first we tried to make our own leaf compost mixture, but with tracking the cost, labor and machine time to turn the composting, costs exceeded the purchase price of huge truckloads from the state of Maryland. And Leafgro is screened and a superior product than the compost we can create. We use it to add to the soil used in our field plantings of evergreens trees for the privacy living fences we install. Adding organic materials to parent soils helps relieve compaction, aids in summer water retention, inoculates the planting area with the composting bacteria needed to start the soil on it’s way to incorporating organic materials and building improved soil structure to better support plant life. The nutrients in the Leafgro are also readily available to the new plants. Maryland Environmental Services also provides us with an analysis sheet of their finished product, which shows us the quality of the compost. Many times when we buy compost in bulk, it may have a lot of wood chips and stump grindings in the black mixture. This material, in reality, is raw cellulose, and to break down the complex lignans, cellular wall structures , etc, composting bacteria must rob the soil of nitrogen to complete the composting process.
Leafgro has proven to be a superior soil conditioning product and is ready to use. Ten years ago we ran out of Leafgro and inadvertently hurriedly bought a load of composted material from another source. Then, three months later, we could see the difference in our container tree production. Leafgro creates a much stronger plant, greener and more aggressive growth than compost with the hidden stump grindings. Leafgro is organic, pet and child safe. Using bulk composted Leafgro, which comes with an analysis sheet, has helped create the vibrant evergreen trees for privacy screening that we grow at Pryor’s Nursery for our Living Fence program.
Picture of the Leafgro facility where the professional grade compost is made (Below) and our freshly delivered piles at Pryor’s Nursery (Above).